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tv   Deadline White House  MSNBC  April 8, 2021 1:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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they only need one juror. >> kristen gibsons and kirk, i appreciate you both. msnbc will keep an eye on the events in the courtroom. meantime "deadline white house" with niccole wallace starts right now. hi there, everyone. it is 4:00 in the east. there's new developments in court today that could be a sign that the walls are closing in on one of the former president's most prominent and vocal political allies. florida republican matt gaetz. from "the new york times" in just the last few hours, quote, a former local official in florida who faces an array of federal charges including a sex trafficking count is expected to plead guilty in the coming weeks a prosecutor and defense lawyer said on thursday in an indication that the defendant could cooperate as a key witness against representative matt gaetz under investigation. a plea by the former elected
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official joel greenberg could significantly strengthen the justice department's hand as it investigates mr. gaetz and others that met him through florida republican poll techs and scrutinized on sex trafficking violations. the defense attorney for greenberg all but confirming serious consequences for gaetz with the cryptic remarks made outside a florida courthouse. >> did your client introduce matt gaetz to any underaged girls for sexual relations? >> right. so i'm just going to let you sit there and look over your head and ignore that question. i'm sure matt gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today. >> not very comfortable. the close ties between gaetz and greenberg detailed at length in the politico piece titled the congressman and his wingman and reports this, quote, the relationship wasn't one of
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equals according to mutual friends saying the tax collector looks upped to the congressman. greenberg introduced him to young women. who he met on seeking arrangement, a dating website that connects women with so-called sugar daddies friends claimed. greenberg regularly trolled the site for dates and the two shared more than one girlfriend according to interviews with friends and associates that know the two men and described greenberg as a wingman and promoted him as a potential congressional candidate. gaetz denied all allegation just "the toims" reported that the investigation into gaetz reportedly grew out of that sprawling case against joel greenberg who faces 33 charges from identity theft to sex trafficking. news of a potential plea deal by gaetsz's quote wingman comes as the new details on what looks like one of the many avenues explored in this criminal probe.
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from nbc news, quote, federal investigators are looking into representative gaetz's travel to the bahamas with women and specifically whether those women were paid to travel for sex which could violate federal law. a spokesperson for gaetz tells cbs news who first reported that investigators were looking into that trip to the bahamas, quote what began with blaring head lynns of sex trafficking turned into a general fishing exercise about vacations and consensual relationships with adults. and now joining us three guests. let me start with you, rinato. i want to understand the strategy for a defense attorney and a defendant in a plea deal
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when there are mandatory minimums for crimes like sex trafficking which i believe is ten years, right, and greenberg is facing countless other charges. does that put extra pressure on a defendant like greenberg? >> no question about it. what it tells me is that the government's got a strong case. you do not plead guilty and flip on somebody else unless you think the government has you dead to rights. if you think there's any chance of you going to trial and beating this thing you are absolutely not going to flip so tells me the government has a strong case and the government believes that he has sufficient information to help them make a case against someone else and based on the attorney's comments that person very well may be matt gaetz. >> mike, i believe this is the first time we have seen or heard from mr. greenberg's attorney but if you could take us through based on your reporting what you understand that comment to be
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about mr. gaetz not feeling comfortable in light of your reporting yesterday about him seek a pardon and today's reporting about the likelihood of a plea deal for mr. greenberg. >> well, the lawyers that greenberg has is a sort of well-known florida defense attorney. and he would not have stood outside the courthouse and made this statement that he did about matt gaetz probably uncomfortable today if -- he didn't make that comment for no reason. he knows what he's doing standing there and saying something like that. experience -- defense attorney would know that. so it certainly sends a pretty significant message when you see the lawyer out there like that. i was sort of struck and surprised by the fact that he had gone so far to do that. >> let me come to you, alex.
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i wanted to wait a minute to invoke a carl hyson novel but florida is the swampiest of all swampy politics. i worked in florida. you covered florida. this is something different. this is really i think mike and the colleagues and "the times" covered this as a case study of when the trumpiest of national politics goes local. talk about the revelations which grow more sordid and shocking/not shocking by the day. >> sordid comes the mind. april is the cruelest month is a phrase that comes to mind paraphrasing t.s. eliot. all of it reminds me of early stage trump. we all sort of looked on in disbelief seeing a major candidate from a major political party revelations about sexual predation and sort of wondered does it again and end there?
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it doesn't. matt gaetz is fashioning himself in the mold of donald trump. a carnival barker. has i think his brand atop that of the republican party. he has fashioned a new sort of version of self-serving political strategy. that i think is learned at the knee over donald trump and i think the attitudes of women in line of that of the former president. i think for anybody who is a republican, a former republican you have to wonder with the news that we have had about the tactic that the republican party and its leadership, its ambassadors are fashioning, it -- what is the republican party? remember when this party used to be the party of family values? matt gaetz is a standard bearer for the modern party. this is the national
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conversation. >> well, and to your point, alex, no one's even talking -- i am old enough to remember when illegal drug use is a scandal for a politician. all that and illegal drug use, as well. the other thing that i'm thinking as you talk is i think that "the times" reported that one of the encounters under investigation is sex with a same underage woman. this is stuff that would have taken any normal pretrump politician off the field forever. >> right. but the bar has sunk so low. it might be buried in the ground that i think that there's thinking inside republican circles and matt gaetz's circle to weather this and then a standard bearer for conservative news and analysis. this would have been career ending a decade ago and now it's a data point. it is a challenge more than it is devastating for someone's
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burgeoning political career. it is a shocking turn of events and i have to say the fact that anyone is allowing this from people who are supposed to be our leaders, our standard bearers, the voice of the unheard for women, for children, someone who may have objective if ied, engaged in illegal acts with female children, because a 17-year-old is not an adult yet, that person could stay in office or otherwise be accepted by polite society as someone to get news and analysis is -- i mean, the times in which we live in i guess and large part i think donald trump to thank for that. >> mike, you reported yesterday on the ties to donald trump. there's this data point and i'll let rinato weigh in on if it's something that the -- deepening criminal exposure for gaetz
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after today. >> yeah. i have to say -- >> i think -- >> sorry. >> sorry. mike first. >> i mean, the thing about the pardon i found particularly interesting is how it was intertwined, it could have been with the case of greenberg which we see playing out today and by that what i'm saying is greenberg wassen dieted last august on sex trafficking charges and if gaetz was paying attention he would have known about that. it was widely reported in the florida press. greenberg is someone that gaetz knew for a long time. it's hard to believe that gaetz didn't know about that. we know that towards the end of the year the investigation into gaetz begins to accelerate. they start to do more interviews. the justice department is taking more overt acts that gaetz could find out about. it's around that time that gaetz
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goes to the trump white house and asks for this blanket pardon, this pardon on steroids, a type of pardon that trump that pushed the limit of pardons more than anyone else never gave to anyone in the end and does this under the cloak of saying for me and other members of congress, other allies in congress and dismissed out of hand so if he was paying attention to the greenberg case he knew a fair amount about what the government had and was doing at the time. >> i guess what i wanted to ask you is what that looks like on the inside. investigations are usually -- investigators go to great lengths to keep them secret and only know what we know from reporters like mike who have broken stories about it but what do you think the fuller picture is on the inside taking this public facing data of gaetz seeking a pardon, of the same
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woman that they shared who was allegedly a minor, of a trip to the bahamas, what do you think behind the scenes the investigation actually looks like at this stage? >> i think today's news about cooperation really plays into that because now they know what greenberg told him before he saw the pardon. right? it may not have been in reaction to what was known public. may be that greenberg made a phone call to him and told him what was going on in the invest, what he knew and concerned about and that could be powerful evidence at a trial and greenberg tells him you're in trouble. don't you remember what we did? he goes and takes a pardon. it goes to consciousness of guilt and leads of the cooperation and going now and trying to look for evidence to corroborate. no jury takes somebody like
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greenberg at face value but use him to narrate this other evidence that they get to back up the testimony, to corroborate the testimony and explain, for example, what matt gaetz was thinking, saying, what his motivations were, what he was planning to do with greenberg, what they did together and then he'll be backed up potentially by communications, by other hard evidence that will bolster his testimony. >> you know, alex, our friend and colleague chuck rosenberg made this parallel to michael cohen and it's a aptd one that michael cohen was known in 2016 for saying i'd take a bullet for the guy and cooperated in two federal investigations into him and now currently that we know of cooperating in two more in the state of new york and the manhattan district attorney. when one flips one tends to flip hard. >> yeah.
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that's a lesson of the trump era is henchmen don't always stay henchmen why if you learned anything from the trump era don't rely -- on the same sort of underworld mafia characters are not going to save your hide when the rubber meets the road and that is unfortunately a lesson that matt gaetz seemed not to have learned and allowed this man to procure potentially minors violating laws and then did so be impunity and no thought what if things go south is all you really need to know about the game at play here. we have witnessed what happens when one of the cronies flips and it is an ugly thing. and here you have a congress person who seems to have basically replicated some of the worst sins of the trump years with no lessons learned. >> it is a great way to think about what matt gaetz could be
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facing, mike. you think about how the white house was so rocked and haunted and obsessed with tearing down michael cohen and perhaps with some success. we don't know everything he's been through but it is usually powerful testimony from someone who once was willing to do just about anything for someone who becomes a target of an investigation. does matt gaetz seem to understand that's what greenberg could represent for him? >> i'm not sure what matt gaetz understands at this point. but what i think we have to keep our eye on in the greenberg situation is by entering into this plea with the government, it is an important, delicate dance. greenberg has to be fully truthful with the government. if he were to cooperate and cannot tell a lie and has to tell them anything, any criminality he was a part of and not always a foregone conclusion if you plead and cooperate that
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you get a massive reduction. if you look at michael cohen, he would say that he provided the government with extraordinary cooperation and significant things from him in the mueller report. the case that came identity of sdny about the payments but the end of the day michael cohen received a stiff sentence in prison for the crime that he had pled guilty to. so, you know, there's a lot more investigation to play out here. there's a lot more of the game to go in sort of a bad tortured sports analogy. >> renato, does that incentivize a defendant facing the kind of charges that carry mandatory minimums to come back to where we started to be as cooperative as they want or do you see someone hedging the bets thinking that someone powerful like gaetz can -- i don't know how matt gaetz could help him
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but how does a defendant in that kind of trouble usually conduct themselves? >> they usually are eager to do everything to help the government and that's because the government requires that. that's what the government's going to tell them. frankly, if they don't help the government enough, they won't potentially have fulfilled the end of the bargain. they need to provide substantial assistance and the judge makes a determination. obviously the judge is going to be thinking about and considering the extent of the cooperation and the government will be giving input to the judge on that point so the judge will rely on the government to say the prosecutors, for example, we thought he really did everything he could. he provided a lot of help. we wouldn't have made the case without him and that's detailed for the judge and really for someone in his situation facing a lot of time behind bars every month that you can get shaved off there matters.
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>> alex, i want to come back to where i think you started, that there is certainly conversation about whether or not he survives as a sitting member of congress but you talked about him persisting and landing perhaps in the right wing media ecosystem and there's -- it is difficult to argue there are any standards for that universe. they're one and the same these days and hard to say whether there's in the trump era state-run media or media running the state. that has its own bucket of consequences. someone like matt gaetz no matter where the investigation leads is no doubt in our minds he likely would be welcomed in that universe. >> yeah. increasingly feels like it is all part of one long con. right? it is about a grift. it is about misinformation. it's about -- it is about using power whether it's a power of broadcast media or the power of
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elected office for your own ends. whether that's sexual escapades with minors and wingman, whether that's grifting the taxpayers as joel greenberg apparently did, whether that's grifting the american public. it feels like it is wrapped up. you ask what is -- i hate saying this because i know you're a principled person and this party is a shell of what it once was but what is the republican party? if both the elected leaders that are republicans and the conservative 'em cochamber that fueled the republican water, if it is all about misinformation, what's left? what are the policies that anybody even agrees on anymore? you know? like what remains? it's an incredibly sad state of affairs that failure in the most spectacular failure as a congress person leads to no punishment but success on the
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one america news network. what has become of both sides of that coin? >> no. we need another hour and 45 minutes for this conversation. we'll do it one day. the answer is what remains? nothing. nothing but what you describe. alex is sticking around. renato, mike, thank you both for starting us off. when we come back, president biden listening to the public and making movers today on gun reform as the gop continues to show the true colors. is the party willing to obstruct the president? the murder of derek chauvin. devastating and graphic new testimony, a medical expert addressing the issue of the trial, cause of george floyd's death. we will have the latest from minneapolis for you. plus, the legal suit against trump for inciting the january 6 insurrection takes a big step forward. we'll talk to someone that filed the case against the former
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our flag was still flying at half staff for the victims of murders in georgia when ten more lives were taken in a mass murder in colorado. you probably didn't hear it but between those two incidents less than one week apart there were more than 850 additional
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shootings. 850. that took the lives of more than 250 people. and left 500, 500 injured. this is an epidemic for god's sake and it has to stop. >> president biden today telling it like it is on gun violence in america. calling it an epidemic that requires immediate action. the president issuing a series of executive orders that include a rule to stop ghost guns, firearms assembled from kits bought online and an order from the justice department to draft red flag laws to allow police and family members to petition a court to remove firearms from people who may pose a danger to themselves or other just the administration admitting that these measures are just a start. and pushing for congress to get something more done. >> i know the progress even in
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this most difficult of issues is possible. so, folks, this is just the start. we got a lot of work to do. but i know almost every one of you sitting in the garden here, none of you have ever given up. we won't give up now. the idea that we have so many people dying every day from gun violence in america is a blemish on our character as a nation u now with trump out of office it is clear that it's the republican party standing in the way of action in congress. the party's current position summed up best by matt boot in "the washington post." quote, republicans wants to make voting hard and gun ownership easy and in fact the post notes this, quote, buying a rifle through a private sale tends to be easier in most places than casting a vote. joining the conversation, tim miller, a writer for the
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bullwork. alex is still with us. tim, this is a national disgrace and you heard joe biden make that point that around the world this is a disgrace. the temptation to grow numb from it because it's too here irveg is there for everybody but the steps while they deserve attention and to be celebrated and the activists so happy he is doing something they amount to sort of an incremental step. >> yeah. that's right. i've been thinking about this with since the colorado shooting. i was in high school at the time of columbine and what happened there that day was so shocking and so alarming, it completely enveloped the entire national discourse and all of it -- we in colorado thinking about for time and now to think that 20 years later these things would happen and we have a major party to just be completely ambivalent
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saying we should move on and not talk about it is hard to grasp your head around and important looking at the republicans, yes, some stuff is incremental, maybe not up to the challenge of what we would have wanted for our country but incremental steps matter. david french who writes for "the dispatch" has put forward the same red flag proposal that joe biden offered today which he says would make a real difference and not take guns out of law-abiding gun owners but those when you can't arrest somebody but they're a danger to themselves and ohs put a hold on the ability to buy a gun for a certain amount of time. this is a logical solution within the second amendment that could be a bipartisan thing to work around the edges own the detail just the republican party is not interested in discussing that.
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even the modest proposals from conservative minds like david french and i think that's the telling part about this debate right now. >> alex, it dovetails perfectly into the last point they don't agree that the epidemic of mass shootings is a problem and therefore they won't come to the table with a different bucket of solutions and largely out of step with law-abiding gun owners. most sup important more than what -- i don't mean to say anything negative about incrementalism. it is one minor change makes one person unable to buy a gun and that one person would have killed one person, we should do all of it. if one life is saved, god bless the president for doing something but the fact the republicans can't agree there's an epidemic of mass shooltings in this country and it's unacceptable you don't get them around the table to talk about so maybe you don't like these
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laws. what are your ten solutions. >> i think it's even more pernicious than that. they have exploited gun ownership for division. the pornography of violence and amassing weaponry is central to the culture wars by the republican party. you go on the campaign trail, holding the guns, the sort of tribalism around gun ownership is exploited by the general petraeus and a way they still hold on to power is by exploiting cultural divisions whether it's immigration or gun safety reform or the environment. no stone is left unturned to exploit the parts of america and using them for political gain and the reason we are not going to see action on this because republicans see guns as a winning issue for them. they see them a direct line to
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staying in power promising americans that no one takes the guns and stoking fear that the liberal socialists arrive in the black helicopters with the covid vaccine shots and a method to seize your weaponry. the fact of the matter is republican voters supporters of the republican party have proven in this pandemic that they are willing to risk their lives and the lives of their loved ones in duty to party. and once you're there, once you are really willing to risk your life in service of party unity i don't know how -- bipartisan legislation seems like a complete fantasy. >> yeah. look. and to alex's point, tim, it is all connected. the lies told about the left are part of the foundations, the bricks and mortar laid to create
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the demand for the guns. never mind the corruption at the highest levels of the nra. this is more corrupt than anything in any sort of special interest group in the country. >> yeah. alex is getting me depressed there painting a dark vision of what the republican electorate will go along with and i'm nodding saying that's right, too. look. but going back to colorado, right? you have lauren who's a qanon sympathetic congresswoman from western colorado. she's doing a live stream video with the two kind of ar-15s crossed behind her over the head as the backdrop for her video like i have plants back here why this is the gun pornography on
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the right that prevents them from being nibble to say i come to the table? right? if you turn the gun into being for gun shows you're tough, strong and against the bill gates vaccine then even if you nudge an initial like on a red flag law that makes you one of them all of a sudden and the bobert treatment of guns and a member of congress based on the symbols and not a legislation to pass about guns, speaks to alex's point how hard it is to break through once you have made this a litmus test in the culture war. >> and i think the other side of this is the tragedy is that those republicans are ascended. the truth is republicans got wiped out. joe biden who was a tip of the spear in president obama's post-newtown push for gun
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control won and look at the faces in the crowd, the activists on the programs and talked to and the hearts broken by the failure year after year after year to do anything. a lot of activists thought if we didn't do anything after babies were slaughtered in newtown we would do nothing but this is a reason for hope, no, alex? >> yeah. i think it is. i'm going to say i think the biden administration is being incredibly tactical about the way in which to do this. he is tossing the ball to congress but for all intents and purposes they're focused on the infrastructure. that's the next big fight and think they can win the support of the country. i think in large part they understand everything we have been talking today and the degree to which gun violence is normalized. i'm sure in 2022 in the mid term
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elections you will see a grass roots push to reenergize this issue. gun safety reform is the issue in the town halls and mothers and fathers terrified of what can happen to their children. >> once you have a kid old enough to come home and tell you about active shooter training underer than 6 changes the issue for you. that's any mom or dad whose baby comes home and tells you they were told to be quiet because the bad men were in the halls. it is wrenching. on vacation i found myself looking for a television. thank you so much for helming those hours -- >> oh, girl. it was my plrn. >> excited to see my parents why it was awesome. thank you so much. my chair is your chair.
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thank you, my friend. thank you, tim, too. when we come back in testimony that could prove difficult for derek chauvin's defense a key medical witness refutding the case that george floyd died from anything other than derek chauvin's knee on his neck. all the day's developments are next. just look at the way she's reshaping, and reimagining, her 4 acre slice of heaven. it's not hard to tell she's the real deal. renae runs with us on a john deere 1 series tractor, because out here, you can't fake a job well done. nothing runs like a deere. get a 1 series tractor starting at $99 per month. ♪ ♪i've got the brains you've got the looks♪ ♪let's make lots of money♪ ♪you've got the brawn♪ ♪i've got the brains♪ ♪let's make lots of♪
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handcrafted like the olden day. designed for the golden days ahead. ♪♪ ♪♪ the ninth day of the murder trial of derek chauvin is under way and the prosecution has now
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turned to the medical community to prove that chauvin murdered george floyd. dr. michael tobin testified the reason for floyd's death is low severals of oxygen in the lungs due to the manner in which police specifically chauvin restrained him. watch. >> mr. floyd died from a low level of oxygen and this caused damage to his brain that we see and it also caused an arrhythmia that caused the heart to stop. the cause of the low level of oxygen was shallow breathing. small breaths. small tidal volumes. shallow breaths that weren't able to carry the air through his lungs. the healthy person subjected to what mr. floyd was subjected to would have died. as a result of what he was
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subjected to. >> excruciating detail tobin pointed to both the road he was laid on and the handcuffs as major factors as to why floyd stopped breathing. >> the forces that are going to lead to the shallow breath are going to be that he is turned prone on the street, that he has the handcuffs in place combined with the street and the knee on the neck and on his back and down his side. all of these four forces are ultimately going to result in the low tidal volume which gives you the shallow breaths that we saw here. >> despite the defense arguing that chauvin's knee was on floyd's shoulder tobin's testimony and pictures from the scene seem to contradict that theory showing the knee on the
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back and neck. let's bring in shaquelle brewster and shawna lloyd. take us through the testimony. >> reporter: yeah. this is definitely an expert witness and someone who's a world renowned pulmonologist and connected with the jury. was giving them eye contact, having them go through the different parts of the neck as he essentially taught them the anatomy of george floyd and what he saw? this is someone that studied the entire case and a few key points from him. number one, he said that george floyd died a low level of oxygen, asphyxia and do not see it in the medical examiner's report and expecting to hear from him tomorrow taking the stand and the reasons why he suffered from asphyxia is because of actions that derek chauvin took. the handcuffs, placed in the
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prone position, the knee on the neck and the back. you also heard him kind of prebutt a main point to the defense and the level of fentanyl in george floyd's system saying the fentanyl in floyd's system did not cause a depression of his respiratory system. and again, he helped personalize george floyd and the moment he believes george floyd lost his life. he paused the video and told the jury that is the moment when the life left or went out of the body. this is a moment that we also know the family of george floyd watching and paying attention to and while not looking at the video they did stare ahead. you got a sense the prosecution laying out the case that they believe derek chauvin is responsible for the death of george floyd, they're relying on the medical example and dr. tobin to make that case.
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>> do juries look to expert witnesses like dr. tobin with added credibility? he seems so wonkish and studied and prepared. seems like irrefutable testimony. >> absolutely. juries look at these type of medical experts and give them a different level of grafitas, especially those that are well studied and he was able to do something that experts can't do which is engage the jury. they were hanging on his every word. the judge said you don't have to do what he's saying because thank you're mimicking him and that's significant with jurors to remember days of testimony and will stand out in their memory. >> what do you think the role of -- he seems to lock in here is that take my expertise and
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add it to your common sense and there's no other possible way that he could have died. that seems really key to the prosecution's case. >> absolutely. he introduced that idea that although i have all this knowledge and this scientific experience some of this is common sense that you can see and that is definitely something jurors latch on going back to deliberate. i think it makes the testimony very palatable for them and very important talking about juries, especially, something as significant that speaks to the cause of death. that is very important to remember and to make sure that your jurors are soaking that information in. >> shaq, just quickly, the prosecution seemed so strategically focused on the places where they know the defense will try to go. this again seemed to be one of those instances. >> oh, absolutely. >> reporter: that's right. it wasn't a secret what the defense is going to say. we heard in the opening
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statements and then they continued to make those points when they're examined or cross-examining witnesses and eric nelson cross-examined dr. tobin and he was correcting him a lot on the stand and knew what he was talking about. he did not waiver or shift from what he was saying in the big conclusion that this was asphyxia and that was the main cause of death. >> shaq and channa, thank you so much for spending time with us today to understand the significance of this today. we are grateful. next, more names joining the lawsuit filed by the naacp against donald trump and rudy giuliani. these new plaintiffs join the suit with harrowing firsthand accounts of what happened january 6. that development is next.
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ten members of congress have added their names and detailed their harrowing accounts in the lawsuit accusing the disgraced ex-president and rudy giuliani, who is now apparently not trump's lawyer anymore, of conspiring with two extremist groups to use intimidation and an insurrection to block the presidential vote count on january 6th. one terrifying account in the lawsuit reads, quote, representative steve cohen became increasingly fearful that his personal safety was in jeopardy, anticipating that he might not emerge from the house gallery alive, he began to contemplate whether he would
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want to be buried with his family in memphis or the congressional cemetery. the lawsuit introduced in february by congressman benny thompson and the naacp invokes a post-civil war law used to target the kkk for its violence against black americans. it permits civil lawsuits such as this one to be brought against government officials for claims they conspired to violate civiling rights. joining our conversation, derrick johnson, naacp president and ceo. we're so glad to talk to you about this and so much going on. talk about where this lawsuit stands and what role the sort of crush of indictments and all the detail we're learning about on the criminal side from d.o.j. and the u.s. attorney's office, whether or not that enhances your legal case here. >> absolutely. as the criminal investigation pursued opens up the evidence for a civil case. the law was brought into being so that individuals who were
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seeking to carry out their duties as members of congress can do so free of intimidation, free of threat of their life, and what we witnessed on january 6th was the very purpose why this law was put in place. no member of congress should have to contemplate when they're on the floor of the house of representatives where they're going to be buried because people are outside the door, banging to get in to cause harm. >> did you ever think your day would be divvied up between fighting what the president calls jim crow laws on steroids, fighting a civil suit filed under a, you know, post, you know, something that was designed to deal with sort of the kkk and that aftermath, and dealing with all of these open, oozy wounds that were opened and i'm sure always on your front burner but now in high-pitch crisis. tell me what you make of the voter suppression laws that passed in georgia, making their
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way to the texas legislature. >> well, what we're witnessing now is the culmination of the underbelly of our nation and the unresolved question of race. we have allowed for far too long white supremacist activity to go unaccounted for. we have allowed, for far too long, the politicization of our election systems based on race. we have not confronted the structural barriers that this country should have dealt with over a century ago. the caste system that we call the united states must be destroyed so that we can continue to live up to our greatest potential. but if it's not, we're going to have these repeated incidents, whether it was in 1965, 1975, whether it's timothy mcveigh, who was a white supremacist, or what we see on january 6th. we must put to bed, once and for all, the issues that have
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persisted in this nation for far too long, and that's the question of race. >> but do you feel like we're going in the wrong direction when republican politicians -- 47 legislatures are looking at voter restrictions, which are thinly veiled voter suppression laws based on a lie. i mean, republicans, on television, are out there saying these are based on a lie. i mean, it feels like we're moving in the wrong direction on all those questions. >> well, you know, perhaps -- i know we're repeating history. what we see today is very similar to what we see after 1876 with the compromise, the question now that we did not get right then, where and how would our corporate communities stand in this moment? are we going to, in this inflection point, push forward or continue to repeat the history that's not healthy for our democracy? >> so, where do you come down on
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decisions like the recent one from major league baseball to move the all-star game out of atlanta in response to the georgia law? >> i think it was a courageous act for the league to take a bold stand. i think it's important for other entertainment outlets such as major league baseball to really consider how they want to be seen when they look back in history in this moment. how -- would any corporation want to be measured in terms of where are they going to stand? are they going to stand toward furthering our democracy, being a more inclusive society and allowing for all individuals to have equal protection under the law, or are they going to repeat history to try to force down our throat a reality that is inconsistent with the constitution and immoral. >> there was a lot of blowback, especially on the right, for president biden in calling these laws jim crow on steroids. is that a fair description?
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>> it is absolutely fair description. you know, i live in mississippi. i understand what voter suppression looks like. and what it looks like is what we're witnessing in georgia. it is a solution seeking a problem. the only problem that happened in georgia for conservatives is they lost the election. they lost the election because they're trying to pick their voters as opposed to create a platform to expand their party. >> add to that, the only person who appears to have potentially committed voter fraud is one donald j. trump. derrick johnson, it's a pleasure to get to talk to you. thank you for making some time for us today. we're grateful. >> thank you. the next hour of "deadline white house" starts after a very quick break. don't go anywhere. we're just getting started. ick . don't go anywhere. we're just getting started [ race light countdown ] ♪♪ ♪♪
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this is really the fallout from the ten weeks of misinformation that flew in from former president donald trump and really i went back over the weekend to look at where this really started to gain momentum in the legislature, and it was when rudy giuliani showed up in a couple of committee rooms and spent hours spreading misinformation and sowing doubt across, you know, hours of testimony. >> hi again, everyone. it's 5:00 in the east. there you have it. hiding in plain sight. the georgia voting restrictions which were signed into law by gop governor brian kemp who's now whining about cancel culture, were put into motion by donald trump's lies about the election results. that was lieutenant governor jeff duncan. he's a republican, by the way, who's willing to call out the law as being based on rudy giuliani's disinformation. now, this should serve two purposes. one, a warning to republicans in states like texas, also
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considering laws predicated on the big lie, like the one passed out of committee today, which makes it a felony for an official to give a voter an absentee ballot application if they did not first request one and two, a sign of comfort to corporate ceos being harassed these days by whiny republicans for opposing voting restriction laws. the misinformation is also at the center of billions of dollars of lawsuits from dominion and smartmatic voting equipment companies. it's also at the center of a warning of a heightened risk of domestic violent extremism from this country's department of homeland security. and of course, it incited the deadly insurrection. but none of that seems to stop republicans from peddling it. in fact, in georgia, kemp sees the big lie as the path to political redemption. "new york times" writing, quote, the sweeping new voting bill, mr. kemp signed two weeks ago, has provided a lifeline to the embattled governor to rebuild his standing among the base. the bill severely curtails the ability to vote in georgia,
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particularly for people of color. mr. kemp has seized on it as a political opportunity, defending the law as one that expands voting access, condemning those who criticize it, and conflating the criticism with so-called cancel culture. it's an argument he believes may restore him to the good graces of georgia republicans after being publicly derided by trump, a predicament that has proved fatal to the career aspirations of other ambitious conservatives. so, even as mcconnell skulks away from his menacing comments about corporations that sounded a whole lot like a threat of retribution, there's a crush of new analysis from former republicans about the calculations corporations are making. amanda carpenter, former communications director to senator ted cruz, writes this. quote, just maybe it's not that ceos are being hoodwinked or that they are foolishly working against their own best interests as the "wall street journal" editorial board avers, but rather, they see clearly that the gop's transformation into a party of deceit and
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anti-democracy is bad for the country, bad for political stability, and therefore, wait for it, bad for business. the big lie is one that threatens to unravel the gop's fragile coalition is where we start this hour with some of our favorite reporters and friends. robert gibbs is here, former white house press secretary and an msnbc political analyst. also joining us, eddie glaude, chair of the department of african-american studies at princeton university. also an msnbc contributor. and betsy wood rough. >>-swan is back. betsy, i start with you. this is really a civil debate, i won't call it a war because there are many more foot soldiers on the disinformation side but it's a debate happening on the right. amanda carpenter worked for ted cruz. max boot has a scathing op-ed out in the "washington post" calling out republicans as being more committed to disenfranchising voters than enacting sensible gun reform. the attacks are most sort of
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violent from republicans against what the republicans are trying to do based on a lie. that stated, do you see any sign that it will slow down the role in 47 states to enact voting restrictions? >> i think quite the contrary. the reality is the republican party's base seems to be enthusiastically supporting politics and other leaders who propagate the kind of nonsense that giuliani spent months sowing and perhaps the most recent eye-popping example of this is a scoop that my colleagues got, which is that marjorie taylor greene brought in an enormous fund-raising haul after being kicked off of her committees and after being one of the most enthusiastic proponents of the -- of this argument that election integrity is a real problem in this country, which it isn't. money talks to republican candidates, and when they see someone like marjorie taylor greene or josh hawley bring in enormous fund-raising hauls, what it tells them is that the
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base, the activists, the republican primary voters who determine who is in charge of this -- of the republican party, are on the side of giuliani and trump. they want more of it and they're going to be rewarding the people who propagate these falsehoods. >> robert gibbs, i am sure that that is the accurate view in the grassroots on the republican side, but there is no way the establishment republicans, and i think you put mitch mcconnell in that category, can survive if they're choked off of a supply of corporate donations. there's just not enough whack-a-doo money. there is truly not enough dark money to sustain one of the two political parties, and i think that with what betsy has asserted, if that's where all the heat is, josh hawley's raised fist and marjorie taylor greene, they're going to become so noncommercial, they won't be able to raise a cent from any corporation in good standing
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with sort of a reasonable center. >> well, and i think that's why you've seen these ceos speak out and why, quite frankly, that speaking out has been so powerful and the reaction from people like mitch mcconnell to try to rope those ceos back in has been so quick. there's no doubt the brian kemps of the world see their path to redemption or resurrection, if you will, in a place where they're answering this idea of what donald trump put out there as election insecurity by fixing it with election security. we know that's all false. but we know that those legislatures and those elected officials don't want to get in the way of donald trump. i think the real key, though, is how many more businesses speak up? who says what and when? those can be enormously powerful voices, because as you said, it's not just speaking for the
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consumer, it's also speaking for the checkbook. >> well, and just to push a little further on this, robert gibbs, i mean, most corporate scandals that have existed in our lifetimes are rooted in lies that they got caught telling, whether it's the dangers of a key in the ignition or toxic ingredients in something they made, so corporations understand the political perils of a lie, and no republican is denying -- i mean, georgia republicans are not denying that the georgia voter restrictions are predicated on a lie. so, what do you think -- do you think the conversation changes when they see all this republican heat around the conduct of fellow republicans to enact these laws? >> well, i think that heat has got to be sustained, and it probably has to be hotter. it has to be more prolific. i think that's why ceos can't leave the battlefield, and people can't let ceos and companies leave it.
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you know, if this is just a blip that everybody responds to, and keep in mind, a lot of that response in georgia was after the fact, not before the fact. so, this is going to -- this is going to trace its way through the country through several dozen more states, and if we look back and see that the moment of real speaking out was after the georgia law passed, so, not in time to affect georgia, but that it only happened at that point, then i think it's going to be hard to see how this train leaves the track. only if there is a sustained outcry, not just from democrats but from others that this is a bad strategy and a bad thing and as you said, if you continue to build story after story of this house on top of a lie, it's that -- that foundation is going to fall. >> well, and in the interest of truth, let's just, you know, republicans are really invested, for some reason, in now lying about the bill that they're so proud of in georgia.
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the truth about what the bill in georgia does is it takes raffensperger out. it really could have altered the outcome of the 2016 election, but republicans are so committed to lying about a bill that they won't even admit to being ashamed of. i mean, eddie, it's so many layers of deception, based on a lie, and now they want to shade the truth about what they just did. >> you know, i think it's -- i think that's absolutely right, nicole, and i think we have to take a step back and really ask ourselves the question, why are people predisposed to believe the lie? and we look at that university of chicago study that just recently came out, that the "washington post" reported about the january 6th insurrection, and we see that there's this animating view among those who participated who were arrested that they were being replaced, that the demographic shifts in the country have changed the very nature of the society. are changing the very nature of the country. and so, we need to read january 6th and these voter i.d. laws or voter suppression laws as kind
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of on a continuum, that they are, in part and parcel, working in -- working together in some ways to try to, shall we say -- i'm trying to find the right language here, nicole, bring the nation back to some view that it ought to be a white nation in the vein of old europe, as i've said before. so i think it's important for us to see what is the lie behind the lie? what is motivating this behavior? and when we do that, there's a long history of voter restriction that we have -- that we've engaged in, in this country, and this is the latest instance of, if that makes sense. >> it makes sense. i think you're being diplomatic. i think the history is racism. but this is racism plus corruption. this is also removing their own guy, who they couldn't corrupt, eddie. >> no, absolutely. absolutely. and it's a sense in which these folks know that they cannot win unless they cheat. and that is to get folks in office who will do their bidding and to keep folks, not only black and brown folk, but poor
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people, college folk, white folk, all -- to keep folk who are not on their side from voting, so they know they can't win without cheating, because in some ways, nicole, what we're seeing here is the kind of vacuous nature of the agenda besides just simply a crude will to power of those who are engaged in these practices, it seems to me. >> so, betsy, i want to show our viewers a republican talking about the impact of this part of the georgia law, taking raffensperger out of his position of authority in elections. this is jeff duncan again, republican lieutenant governor of georgia. watch. >> the secretary of state did a great job. i think that was one of the parts, too, that concerned me about the final passage of the law, which ultimately was a culmination of democratic and republican ideas, but some of the punitive, you know, responses to taking brad raffensperger off that elections board, i thought, was just trying to tip their hat to donald trump and i didn't think that was a necessary step. >> again, it was brad
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raffensperger's staff member, gabriel sterling, who went to the microphones weeks before the insurrection and warned that, quote, somebody would get shot, somebody indeed did get shot at the insurrection. all of the heat on the right was around the role of incorruptible election officials, and it wasn't just raffensperger. it turned out, betsy, that this election and the ability to ultimately have a transfer of power rested in people like raffensperger in michigan and pennsylvania and other places but this part of the law, i don't think, has had its sort of justifiable attention and scrutiny. this was a power play to punish a republican who couldn't be corrupted, despite that phone call that i think most of us have probably listened to from donald trump after the election. >> and there seems to be no question what exactly is going on here. what's perhaps the only thing that's just a little bit surprising about this georgia legislation is that it happened so quickly, and in a way where the aim and intent is so
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transparent and so obviously punitive. one of the challenges that major corporations are going to face as they grapple with how to use their dollars and their influence to affect public policy in america is that other state legislatures, republican-controlled state legislatures, will probably not be quite so over-the-top and obvious as they're rolling out future legislative efforts to make it more difficult for people who generally support democrats to vote. the challenge for these companies is going to be, is the posture they are taking now in georgia going to be an enduring change in corporate american culture? are they still going to be tough on republicans who might do the right things or say the right things that these companies want when it comes to tax cuts while at the same time quietly trying to make it more difficult for people of color to vote? and this is something that republicans have been working on for decades and are becoming really organized and deliberate about. obviously, it's important to keep an eye on texas, a state
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that's trending blue, where republicans worry their party faces an existential threat and now are working, potentially, to make it harder for people who support democrats to be able to vote and jeopardize their control over that state. it's something that's going to be a long-term shift, i believe, within the republican party, in part because so many base voters are still completely deferential to whatever they hear from former president trump and rudy giuliani, and because of this shift and this increased focus in the gop and because of where the base voters are at, it means these companies have to think seriously about making long-term, permanent changes, whether that's something they're comfortable doing with their political giving. >> well, i mean, the only thing that makes it almost comical in terms of companies being confused or confounded is that every company saw to it to put out a statement attesting to their values after the killing of george floyd when the racial reckoning garnered upwards of 70% public support in this
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country, everything from the, you know, exercise class i found online to the groceries i bought in the grocery store came with an affirmation of that company's commitment to equality. this is that. this is the fight. this is what the fight looks like. when we're beyond the protests in the street, eddie, and there's a real-world example to test our ceos in this country, whether they believe what they believed when they sent out all their statements affirming their dedication to equality after last summer. in texas, lawmakers have advanced a bill that would impose, quote, criminal penalties for errors during the election process such as making it a felony for an official to give a voter an absentee ballot application or solicit the submission of an application of the voter does not request it at first. republicans are terrified of absentee voting, of early voting, of drive-thru voting, of same-day registration, any kind of voting that they can't rig. >> exactly. and so, our democracy is in
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jeopardy. there's no middle ground here. we've been saying this over and over again. there's no middle ground here. and we know in the global context, there is a battle afoot and there's a battle afoot that is basically takes this shape, nicole. that capitalism, that the pursuit of profit can happen without liberalism, without democracy. we see it in china. we see it in hungary. now corporations in this country have to make a choice. are they committed to democracy, or are they committed to air bottom lines? are they committed to democracy, or are they committed to just simply kowtowing to whomever happens to hold the reins of power and who want to keep it? this is part of existential debate that president biden gestured at, autocracy, democracy, they need to make their stand now. there's no middle ground. >> and robert gibbs, john boehner was fond of your old boss. he's out with a new book.
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pieces of it are leaking here, there, and everywhere. i want to read you some of what maggie reported in "the new york times." in the book, an excerpt, mr. boehner writes that mr. trump's refusal to accept the results of the election not only cost republicans the senate but led to mob violence, adding, quote, it was painful to watch. mr. trump incited that bloody insurrection for nothing more than selfish reasons. he perpetuated by the bull bleep, rhymes with hit, he'd been shoveling since he lost a fair election the previous november. mr. boehner writes, quote, he claimed voter fraud without any evidence and repeated those claims taking advantage of the trust placed in him by his supporters and ultimately betraying that trust. boehner joins a long list of republicans including bill barr, john bolton, mitch mcconnell at times, and many others who have said, there was no voter fraud. it seems that corporations struggling with this can take some comfort in that long list of republican luminaries who say
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this was all a lie. >> absolutely. i think in this case, former speaker john boehner's voice is tremendously important because it is one thing to write a book about, and i think, as he said, the stories -- to tell stories of what he saw in his time there. i think it's impactful and powerful to pull that now forward and give what is happening now some current shape. i hope it puts pressure on republicans writ large but particularly republicans like the current minority leader, representative mccarthy, who has continued to deny and continued even after the insurrection, later that night, voting not to allow electoral votes from certain states to be counted. i hope there's that pressure point as well. that discomfort has to be felt by more than just a few people in order for the winnowing of
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this big lie to begin to happen. >> i mean, that's a longer conversation, robert gibbs, but i think he's still picking out the star burst flavors that donald trump likes. i mean, that battle has been lost. you really think that any sitting elected republican -- i mean, i think the dynamic betsy described at the beginning is tragically the reality for elected republicans. do you think the boehner book could still seep into the conscience of any elected republican? >> well, i'd certainly like every person on capitol hill, republican that served with john boehner, to be asked whether or not they think that part of his book is true. he recounts a lot of stories about what happened, you know, what -- what does representative mccarthy not believe about what former speaker john boehner just said? and again, i think asking folks continually -- i know it seems redundant -- asking them who won the election and whether it was fair, because that certainly goes to every bit of the discussion that we're having in
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georgia and texas and in dozens of other states about whether or not, quite frankly, as your previous guest said, this is a solution in search of a problem. >> yeah. so, you saw it here first, the day robert gibbs had more faith in the republican party than nicole wallace. robert gibbs, eddie glaude, betsy woodruff swan, thank you for starting us off. after the break, why the story of donald trump and michael cohen should serve as a warning for congressman matt gaetz now that his one-time florida wingman appears to be about to potentially flip on him. plus, how to protect the country from the gop. president biden making good on his promise to take action on gun control despite ongoing obstruction from the right. and a worrying update in the race between covid vaccines and the spread of covid variants. all that when "deadline white house" continues after a quick break. don't go anywhere. break. don't go anywhere. ♪♪
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life can change real fast, especially when you're staring down the united states department of justice. we'll give you an example. in september of 2017, donald trump's former fixer, michael cohen, told "vanity fair's" emily jane fox that he would, quote, take a bullet for donald trump. well, in the weeks that followed, cohen pleaded guilty to eight felonies. he became, essentially, a robert mueller informant and just a year and a half after that bullet comment, michael cohen testified to congress that trump was a racist, that trump was a con man, that trump was a cheater. literally as we speak, cohen is in the process of cooperating with government agencies still
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investigating donald trump and his family and his businesses. that is what law enforcement can do. the fact-finding and pressure can do that to anyone. keep that in mind as we monitor the situation surrounding congressman matt gaetz and his former wingman, joel greenberg, the former tax collector for seminole county. you remember greenberg previously pleaded not guilty to a slew of charges, including sex trafficking a minor. that charge is reportedly how gaetz was ensnared in the case to begin with. well, this afternoon, federal prosecutors, along with greenberg's attorney, told a judge in orlando they do not expect greenberg's case to go to trial. instead, they expect a plea. "new york times" notes it could be an indication that greenberg could cooperate as a key witness against gaetz. we should note gaetz has not been charged with a crime and he has so far denied all wrongdoing. let's bring into our conversation, nbc news capitol
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hill correspondent garrett haake and chuck rosenberg, msnbc contributor. chuck, it was such an apt, just, illustration of historically what can happen when two allies become ensnared as subjects or targets of a federal investigation. explain. >> yeah, so, exactly, nicole. at one point, when they were pursuing sex with women on the internet, allegedly, their interests ran together. now, seemingly, their interests have diverged. that happens all the time. let me tell you a couple things that are not at all surprising. first, with respect to mr. greenberg, the tax official from seminole county, overwhelmingly, people who are indicted in the federal system plead guilty. i think the number is probably in the 95% range. let me tell you another thing that's not surprising. overwhelmingly, people who plead guilty and are facing sentencing
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are looking desperately to cooperate, and i can't tell you how many times, when i was a federal prosecutor, a very good defense attorney would come to me and she might say, what can my client do? how can he help? can he help himself? can he help you? and if the answer was yes, it was yes. and we tried to have that person cooperate and if the answer is no, then the answer is no and you face sentencing. but those things are not surprising. and so, here, the interests have diverged, and mr. greenberg's attorney, no doubt, is doing two things simultaneously. one, preparing for trial, in case the plea falls through, but more likely, and more assiduously, trying to get his guy into position to be helpful to the feds so that after he pleads guilty, he can cooperate against everybody and anybody, and that could include his buddy, mr. gaetz. >> well, it's such an
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interesting insight, garrett haake. this doesn't look like, you know, the government coming to greenberg's lawyers and saying, pretty please. it's the opposite. it's a defense attorney saying, will you shave a few years off for this or that? and it heightens, i think, the anxiety around the gaetz investigation. now, the reporting in "the new york times" is that they had sex with the same underage woman. the reporting at cnn and other places is that gaetz showed nude photos of sexual conquests to other members. this paints a picture of depravity and piggishness, misogyny. what is the reaction among republicans? >> reporter: well, and i'll add that our reporting, my colleague, tom winter, carrying most of the water on this story for us, quite honestly, says that the federal investigators are also looking into a trip to the bahamas in which gaetz had women along with him who were paid for sex and who may have been underage as well, so there's quite a lot to go with this, and joel greenberg's
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attorney today, by the way, after that court hearing, said he's sure gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today. gaetz's name didn't come up in greenberg's hearing today, but it came up afterwards, and i think that's notable. now, as for reaction from members of congress, there's been pretty notable silence here. in fact, the person who has defended gaetz the most that i have been able to find is actually marjorie taylor greene. she's been very outspoken on twitter, defending gaetz and pointing out there have been no alleged victims who have come forward to claim anything about gaetz, that this story has come almost entirely from law enforcement and that there's not women having come forward yet to attack gaetz, but beyond that, the rest of the republican party, by and large, has been silent. kevin mccarthy said fairly early on in this scandal that his bar for this was going to be an indictment, and when we get to that point, if we get to that point, you would see action from republican leadership, but so far, gaetz is essentially twisting in the wind here, not a lot of support from his party and in fact a statement from former president trump that came out the other day merely said
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gaetz had not asked him specifically for a pardon, very specific wording from a former president not known for very specific wording. >> except when his lawyers get involved. i want to read you and garrett is right to give a shoutout to our great colleague, tom winter. this is his reporting on the bahamas trip under investigation. federal investigators are looking into congressman matt gaetz's travel to the bahamas with women and specifically whether those women were paid to travel for sex. which could violate federal law. a law enforcement official and another person familiar with the matter said. investigators are also looking into whether gaetz and one of his associates used the internet to search for women they could pay for sex. the sources said. where do you run afoul of the federal law in terms of paying for sex to travel -- i remember some of this from other high-profile politicians, but just take me through the laws
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that are potentially ones that he violated. we have the sex trafficking question around sex with an underage girl, a 17-year-old, but help me understand what laws could have been violated by paying women to travel to the bahamas and by using the internet to search for women to pay for sex. >> right, so, let's take the easy one first, nicole, the one you just mentioned. if you are paying an underage woman, girl, for sex, that's commercial sex trafficking, you're essentially giving that girl something of value, money or travel or something of value, in return for sex. that's a federal offense. if the girl is between the ages of 14 and 17, allegedly in this case it was a 17-year-old girl, that is a ten-year federal felony. there are other sex trafficking offenses in the federal code. some of them rely on coercion or fraud to induce someone to
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travel. obviously, if you are forcing someone to travel against their will, that's another type of offense. so, it runs the gamut from simply paying an underage girl for sex to enticing someone to travel by fraud or coercion, to forcing someone to travel against their will. all of them are federal offenses. here's the interesting thing. matt gaetz knows exactly what he did, and so the timing, as you alluded to earlier, of him asking somebody in the white house for blanket pardons, if that turns out to be true, is overwhelming, in my view, evidence of his consciousness of guilt. like, oops, i got caught because this guy got caught and now i need help. where am i going to get it? maybe a sympathetic president. i'll go with a cover story that a whole bunch of his congressional allies, including me, needs a blanket pardon because those folks who are coming up next are going to go after us.
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it may turn out to be that once greenberg is indicted, that gaetz knows either because it's in the press or because he has spoken with greenberg, that he's in trouble and he needs help. >> somewhere in there, if it wasn't so dark and sordid and sad, there's a joke for someone that the qanon person who believes in all sorts of satanic pedophilia rings is defending the guy accused of potentially sex trafficking a minor. not for me, but it's in there. nbc's garrett haake and chuck rosenberg, thank you both for spending time with us. when we come back, president biden wielding the powers of his office to take action on gun control. this despite obstruction on the right. we'll talk to one lawmaker deeply affected by gun violence in america on what might come next. stay with us. america on what m next stay with us her's life on ancestry and it was a remarkable twentieth-century transformation. he did a lot of living before i knew him.
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we are monitoring some breaking news. another mass shooting has been reported just in the last hour. this one in bryan, texas. police say at least several people have been injured. there's no confirmation on the number of victims. the suspect at this hour remains at large. we're continuing to monitor that scene and we'll update you with any details as soon as we get them. it's tragic but it may be part of why president biden just this afternoon called on congress to finally act on gun reform legislation. it's the kind of stuff, kind of policies supported by a vast
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majority of americans. president biden making clear that gun reform is a clear priority for him and his administration, despite a near blockade of republican opposition. short of legislation from congress, though, the president exercising the power of his office, announcing six executive actions his administration will take to prevent gun violence. joining our conversation, democratic congressman ted deutsche of florida. he's the chief whip of the gun violence prevention task force, someone we've all seen and heard speak in personal terms after parkland. talk to me today about the progress made by this president and these announcements. >> well, thanks, nicole. today was a really, really important day for the country. we have said all along that what we need is leadership in the white house. i have seen the president with families who have lost loved ones. i have seen him give them a
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shoulder to cry on, and today, he leaned his shoulder into taking action. this is what a strong and compassionate leader does. these measures today will help to make -- put our country on a path toward a safer future for everyone, from red flag laws to violent -- community violence intervention programs, going after ghost guns, a new atf director who actually knows what needs to be done to help keep america safe. this is a really, really significant day, and it comes from a president who doesn't lead with brash talk. he leads with smart policy and with his heart. that's what he did today. >> and you know the reluctant activists in this space, almost every one of them, there by the path they choose, the way they choose to endure unspeakable tragedies.
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you tweeted this. it's a good start. we have a long way to go. we must make sense of our gun laws to make our communities safer from gun violence. are you optimistic that a president sort of unafraid of what he sees in the other party and willing to use public opinion as a lever to enact policy can do more than the good start that was had today? >> sure. absolutely. i am. and i think we all can be optimistic that there's finally someone in president biden who after the mass shootings that we've seen and here you are reporting again, today, on another shooting, we have a president who acknowledged this is an international embarrassment. the president called the gun violence epidemic in our country. and he's right. and everything that he proposed today is reasonable. it will help save lives. red flag laws have been adopted in florida. in florida. not a place that's thought of as a leader on gun control efforts.
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but people understand that if we keep guns away, and we give people the right to take guns away from people who might cause harm to themselves or to others, we should do it. and they know that ghost guns need to be regulated, and they understand that we need to invest in community violence intervention programs. yes, i am optimistic, and when i saw the president today with the families, when he spoke directly to the families, he acknowledged the pain that so many of them feel, including constituents of mine. that's a president who's going to continue to lean in, nicole. that's what this takes. he's going to take this to the american people and in congress we will push ahead with meaningful legislation to help keep our communities safe. >> you know, so much is made of the lock -- excuse the terrible pun -- but the hold that the nra has on the republican party and it's sort of rooted in this
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playbook now, disinformation, that gun reform is somehow -- could be equated or described as seizing people's guns. most lawful gun owners support reforms that go much further than what the president was able to do today through executive action in the areas of universal background checks and whatnot. how do you think a new president, especially one who was the tip of the spear after newtown, with the -- what turned out to be failed legislative approaches, but how do you think this president can sort of change the debate around doing the kinds of things that there are people on the right, lawful gun owners, who support universal background checks, who support -- i think donald trump even flirted with doing some of the things that president biden did today. how do you think the debate in the country can be different and how do you think a president like president biden can sort of bypass the nra's hold on brainwashing members of their own and members on the right? >> yeah. it's a really good question. and look, one of the things that
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had made these first few months of the biden administration so successful is that he's just turned down the temperature. he understands the things that we need to do, and he is allowing for people to get behind him. if you look at the american rescue plan, it's widely supported all around the country, not in the capital, but the president went out and made the case to the american people, and it's worked. the same thing applies here. rick scott was governor of florida when he signed the red flag law here. so, now, i guess he may take a different view, but he should -- he should hear from the people across the country. everyone in congress should hear from their constituents that -- and when they listen, they'll hear what i hear, which is they don't understand why we're not taking basic steps that can help keep our communities safe. the president has set the right tone. he's going to permit a rational
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conversation, and when you discuss these issues rationally, you don't have room for the nonsense and the lies that come from those who want to stand in the way. you instead look at the facts and realize, we don't have to have a hundred people die in our country every single day. we don't have to -- we don't have to continue to see this as an international embarrassment. we can take action. the president did it today. congress is going to continue to move forward on a whole host of measures, and i'm really confident -- more confident today, frankly, than i have been in a really long time that we're going to be able to accomplish something significant to help save lives in our country. >> wow. we don't hear that every day. optimism. unbridled optimism. i think you're right, though. i think the idea of this president as someone committed to turning down the heat is a story we're missing. i saw him go out of his way to pay a compliment to mitch mcconnell this week around the vaccine hesitancy and you're
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right, i think we'll be talking for a long time about what impact that might have around these seemingly intractable debates. congressman ted deutsche, it's a pleasure to talk to you, especially about this issue on this day. thank you for spending some time with us. up next, a warning from one of the nation's top health officials as the highly contagious uk variant of the coronavirus overtakes all other strains of coronavirus in the united states. tates. are you managing your diabetes... ...using fingersticks? with the new freestyle libre 2 system, a continuous glucose monitor,
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the b.1.1.7 variant is now the most common lineage circulating in the united states. these trends are pointing to two clear truths. one, the virus still has hold on us, infecting people and putting them in harm's way. and we need to remain vigilant. and two, we need to continue to accelerate our vaccination efforts and to take the individual responsibility to get vaccinated when we can. >> the cdc director there on the highly contagious uk covid variant, which is now the dominant strain here in the u.s., as has been predicted for a long time to happen. adding to concerns that we may be on the cusp of a fourth surge with infection rates rising in 32 states. it includes 10 of the 20 states that do not currently have a statewide mask mandate in place. but a major milestone was passed this week, one in four adults are now fully vaccinated, and that includes 58% of seniors. let's bring into our conversation, msnbc medical
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contributor dr. kavita patel. i'm going to start with the vaccine news that president biden, and we've talked about this, we've been on the air together for all these major announcements, and we've talked about, this is what happens when the whole of government focuses on one goal, which is vaccinating the country. a quarter of vaccinating the country. it is remarkable. >> yeah, it is remarkable. it's even more important to keep this milestone in mind. once we vaccinate 30% of the country, we start seeing decreases. the flip of that is that the majority of americans are not fully vaccinated, which is why i think you heard some pretty straightforward comments and advice the last couple of weeks that hopefully we'll heed. >> what do you do to sort of the psychological and political impediments now. that you have people that are done and you have republican
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governors who refuse to call for the things that will protect us now, masks and socially distance. how do you combat that at a policy level. >> i think i learned at the hard way that you have to get into the behavioral psychology underlying this. we're sick of dealing with this, but we need to. i do think there is a way from a policy standpoint. and biden is doing it, accelerating the timetable for vaccinating all americans. that's something we have seen moving up, up, again and again. even the governors who have been vocally opposed to everything the administration has done are more than happy to take resources that can help them expand vaccination efforts. but what you're hitting on is what we need to do still, which is clear communication about why this matters. i think the public is exhausted of hearing doctors like me say, be careful.
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wear your mask. be safe. but we need consistent messaging from trusted figures. i'm still waiting for that. i know that will resonate a little more with the american people. one in four vaccinated. three in four are not. and you talk about who those three people are. that becomes the story. and it gets people to think, we can actually deal with this by just taking a little more time and wear a mask. >> i have to disagree. no one ever gets tired from people like you. from me, yes, but not from people like you. i hear what you are saying. i think this is where the white house's head is, getting to people in their communities, in their churches, in their influence spheres feels like it. when we return, as we do every day, we will remember lives well-lived.
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there are public servants, and then there are public servants. rachel was the latter. to simply lift everything he did from his ohio community would take us another hour or three. elected to be trustee for the township in 2007, he was at the town hall pretty much every single day, serving on nearly every single committee. he was a local historian. he was the chair of the zoning commission. he also held positions at the county level and was the driving force behind a number of community organizations as well. he knew everyone, and they loved
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him. like we said, the purist definition of a tireless public servant who gave all he had to serve his neighbors. it seems the only thing that mattered more to ray was his wife emma, his three children and his four grandchildren. if you would, keep them in your thoughts this afternoon, along with all the good people of hinkly, ohio. he died of complications from covid-19 in january this year. we will be right back. dream sequence ending no! in three, no! two, keep packing! one.
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we started with computers. we didn't stop at computers. we didn't stop at storage or cloud. we kept going. working with our customers to enable the kind of technology that can guide an astronaut back to safety. and help make a hospital come to you, instead of you going to it. so when it comes to your business, you know we'll stop at nothing.
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thank you so much for letting us into your homes during these extraordinary times. we're grateful. "the beat" with ari melber starts right now. hi, ari. >> hi, nicole. thank you so much. we're tracking several big stories tonight. the jury looking riveted today inside the derek chauvin murder trial, a key witness speaking out. later, is the new york d.a.

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